A closed-end fund is a publicly traded investment company that raises a fixed amount of capital through an initial public offering (IPO). The fund is then structured, listed and traded like a stock on a stock exchange.
Despite the name similarities, a closed-end fund has little in common with a conventional mutual fund, which is technically known as an open-end fund.
The former raises a prescribed amount of capital only once through an IPO by issuing a fixed number of shares, which are purchased by investors in the closed-end fund as stock. Unlike regular stocks, closed-end fund stock represents an interest in a specialized portfolio of securities that is actively managed by an investment adviser and which typically concentrates on a specific industry, geographic market, or sector. The stock prices of a closed-end fund fluctuate according to market forces (supply and demand) as well as the changing values of the securities in the fund’s holdings.